The fifth in our series on interiors by Katie McCrum, a member of the British Institution of Interior Design (BIID) and founder and MD of London Rooms Design & Development Ltd >>
If you’re stuck with a bathroom that feels too small for all the tasks you have to accomplish, don’t despair. By using a bit of imagination you can transform your cramped bathroom into a luxury retreat!
Consider the following ideas to create your very own personal sanctuary:
In a small bathroom, busy patterns can feel overpowering and appear to shrink the space. If you want to get creative, play with textures rather than patterns. Soft, neutral tones will have a calming effect, and using one colour or the hues of one colour will tend to make the space feel larger.
Use mirrors to reflect light and space. Mirror cabinets above the basin area for storage is a practical solution and will add another dimension to the room. Using a large mirror instead of tiles on a large section of wall will also increase the feeling of space, but remember to consider the things that you are happy to see reflected!
Use bright bulbs on a dimmer switch system to provide a combination of task and ambient lighting. For example, if you only have one overhead light in your bathroom, you will probably find that you only want to do utilitarian tasks in that space, so being able to change the light levels automatically changes the mood.
Many bathroom manufacturers offer a compact range of basins and toilets, so consider replacing a few of your fixtures with smaller ones and opt for wall-mounted fixtures – the less you have on the floor the larger the space will appear.
Choose glass shower screens over shower curtains every time – they offer another dimension similar to a window, whereas curtains restrict the movement of light. Glass sliding doors don’t require space for door clearance so can be a very good option too.
Change the swing of your door
Many traditional doors open into a room, so try flipping the door round so it swings out of the bathroom (as long as it’s not a hazard to others). Another option is installing a pocket door that slides into the wall and doesn’t require a door swing. Pocket doors are also appealing because they ‘hide’ inside the wall!
Nooks and crannies
If you are renovating and you get the opportunity, build in some niches – think about creating a recessed toilet paper holder or some recessed shelves in the walls for holding towels, toiletries and display items, for example. My personal favourite is a recessed box in the shower area for bottles and soaps.